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Photographer's Note

Some while ago I posted a couple of exterior shots of Liebig House, this interior shot is of a room with the most wonderful view. Each time I visit this old house my mind is filled with thoughts of life as it may have been lived here at the beginning of the 20th century. I imagine a young woman, newly arrived from Europe, with European sensibilities, being confronted with life in the African bush. No tarred roads and quite a distance from Windhoek, life would have been so different from what she was used to. I wonder... did she look out of these windows and long for home?

iebig House is a large, dilapidated building, generally known to Windhoek residents as a ghost house. Over the years we have visited it many times. A drive of about 30 k's on a dirt road through some lovely scenery brings you to this beautiful, isolated but neglected old house.

The property is closely linked to the early colonial history of Namibia.

On 18th September 1907, The Liebig's Extract of Meat Company (Lemco) purchased 210,000ha of land in the Khomas Hochland. A house was built in 1911 and named after Baron Justus von Liebig, the German 19th-century organic chemist who founded the Karl Liebig Company. Farm managers of the company, who were renown cattle breeding specialists, were housed there. Lemco were the originator of Liebig and Oxo meat extracts, which later became known as Oxo beef stock cubes.They also produced Frey Bentos Corned Beef

The location was perfect. Beautiful panoramic views across the veld could be admired from the large windows. A short walk from the house, farm managers would stroll to a deep rocky river gorge, divided by an old dam. Tea parties would be held on the well-manicured garden, which featured a finely crafted statue, a flowing fountain and a beautifully carved fish with water cascading from the mouth into a pond of floating lilies and croaking frogs.

One of the managers who lived in the house was Alexander Scotland who served as a British secret agent in Namibia during the German period. Scotland claims in his autobiography to have been given an appointment in the German Schutztruppe and to have been responsible for encouraging the guerrilla leader Johannes Christian to agree to a ceasefire with the Germans on December 23, 1906. However, in 1914, after providing details of the positions of German troops in southern Namibia, Scotland was arrested and imprisoned. After the German defeat by South Africa in 1915 (during World War One), Scotland left Namibia, but continued his work in military intelligence.

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Additional Photos by Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 84 N: 6959] (31631)
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